May 15, 2018 at 11:53 am #34928
Hello! 🙂 So, question.
We all know in the real world people don’t have magical powers that enable them to control water. As Christians, we know that only God has these powers. Only He can walk on water, control the wind and the sea, etc. So is it wrong for me to portray characters who do have these abilities?
Lover of Christ, writer (obviously...), fangirl, and a proud Meerkat!May 15, 2018 at 12:25 pm #34931Sarah Narnathron@sarah-narnathron
Definitely not. It’s no more wrong to write stories about characters who can do the types of things you said than it is to write about a world where dragons are real and animals can talk, or where spiritual battles are personified with knights and swords and kingdoms at war, or where planets are some shape other than spheres. In all these cases, you’re basically just saying “What if God had created a world where X is a thing?”, whether X is dragons or talking animals or humans who have the ability to manipulate the natural world in ways that we, in our world, would consider miraculous.
If you wrote these sorts of stories with the attitude that God should’ve created the world like this— not just in a wishful thinking “You know what would be awesome? Dragons,” sort of way, but in a “God was wrong and I’m going to fix it” sort of way— then, yes, that would be wrong. And if you wrote a character with truly limitless power to manipulate the world, then you might also have a problem. But otherwise, you’re just saying “What if?” and thinking through the consequences, using the creativity that God gave you to come up with something good, something that will hopefully benefit others. And there’s nothing at all wrong with that.
Welcome to the masquerade.May 15, 2018 at 1:27 pm #34944Anonymous
@esther-sears One reason I don’t write a lot of fantasy is because I find it difficult to portray God’s power when the characters have superpowers. But even super heroes have limits, and I think in that you can show God’s power, wisdom, and almighty deity. I think as long as the reader knows that your fantasy book is not meant to be real, and your not misleading people, writing fantasy well can honor God for sure!May 15, 2018 at 4:18 pm #34960Daeus Lamb@daeus-lamb
I don’t know of any verse in the bible which would make me think that creating an imaginary world that is slightly different from ours is wrong. Stories are supposed to instruct though, and if you include elements (like water-manipulators) just because you think it would be fun you may either fail to instruct, or instruct in a way you did not intend. For instance, here are some misconceptions I could see readers coming to if they read a lot of books with magic in them.
. There’s nothing wrong with dabbling in magic in our own world.
. The more powerful a person is, the more important they are.
. A world without magic is boring.
You want to think through how your reader could abuse your inclusion of magic in a story and plan against that. I’d say there are three aspects to this.
. What purpose does the magic serve? Is it symbolic or allegorical? Is it used for crime control? I think (if the magic form is intended to be good) that it should have been created for a certain purpose. Otherwise, man get’s to decide how he wants to use it.
. Where does the magic come from. In the bible, there actually are God-fearing people who you could technically say use magic. They were called prophets (i.e. Elijah). Their power came from God and was used for God’s purposes. What we normally call magic is demonic power, but magic could just be considered supernatural power from any source. In your own story, if the magic is intended to be good, it should come from God either directly or indirectly. Indirectly would be like where God creates a magic system that can be used by whoever has whatever gift is needed to use it. The idea with these systems is that both good guys and bad guys can use the system without sin. It’s important that readers know where the power comes from because that will distinguish it from what we call magic in our world.
. Make sure the magic is actually meaningful. Seeing as there is some moral risk in writing a story that includes magic if you don’t think and pray through it carefully, I wouldn’t recommend including magic unless you have a good reason to. For instance, I’m considering someday writing a story where a character can read others thoughts. I have an actual reason for giving him this power. I think there’s a lot of thematic opportunity with a story where a character can know every secret thought and sinful idea that goes through other characters’ heads.
I hope this was at least somewhat helpful. 🙂
👖 🐢🐢🐢🐢🐢May 16, 2018 at 12:41 pm #35057
Thanks guys!! All your comments were great 🙂
I love fantasy, but I want to be careful how I write it. (For the reasons @daeus-lamb gave. Your comment /was/ very helpful 🙂 ) It can be all too easy to portray things (especially magic) in a wrong way. I know people will vary on what’s right and what’s wrong, like how how some people are okay with Harry Potter and others are very against it. It can be a thin line at times.
Fantasy writing takes a lot of thought and prayer sometimes 😉
Lover of Christ, writer (obviously...), fangirl, and a proud Meerkat!May 16, 2018 at 1:38 pm #35067Jenna Terese@jenwriter17
@esther-sears Here’s an article on that from Kingdom Pen http://kingdompen.org/magic-fantasy-and-the-christian-writer/
"If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write." -Martin Luther
www.jennaterese.comMay 17, 2018 at 4:36 pm #35170
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